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NEWS SPECTRUM

IACLE AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED, IACLE/BUCCLE EDUCATION DAY

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) announced the winners of its 2017 IACLE Awards—the IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards and the IACLE Travel Award. Each winner receives a bursary of up to $3,000 toward the cost of attending the 40th British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Clinical Conference in Liverpool, U.K. (June 9 to 11) and the IACLE/BUCCLE (British Universities Committee of Contact Lens Educators) Education Day (June 8).

Through sponsorship from CooperVision, three IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards will be presented, one from each of IACLE’s three global regions. The annual Travel Award is funded by IACLE. All four awards are supported by the BCLA. The 2017 winners are:

  • IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year – Professor Jan Bergmanson, University of Houston, Texas
  • IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year – Professor Koon-Ja Lee, Eulji University, Seongnam, Korea
  • IACLE Europe / Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educator of the Year – Dr. Yazan Gammoh, Amman Ahliyah University, Amman, Jordan
  • IACLE Travel Award – Professor Martha Lucila Márquez García, Santo Tomás University, Bucaramanga, Colombia

The IACLE Awards will be presented in the main auditorium at the BCLA Conference on June 11. Recipients will also have the opportunity to attend the Education Day organized by IACLE and BUCCLE.

Topics covered at the Education Day will include communicating with students in the clinic; electronic learning styles; core competencies of U.K. optometry students; assessment of students’ skills; and merging academic teaching into clinical practice.

B+L ONE BY ONE RECYCLING PROGRAM UPDATE, MANAGEMENT CHANGES

Bausch + Lomb (B+L) announced that more than 180,000 units of used contact lenses and blister packs have been recycled through the B+L One by One Recycling Program. To date, more than 1,800 optometry offices have signed up to recycle used contact lenses and blister packs through this free program, developed by B+L in collaboration with TerraCycle.

B+L recently educated consumers about the recycling program during an Earth Day celebration, which was held on April 18 in New York City. Earth Day Initiative, a not-for-profit organization that promotes environmental awareness through year-round programs and partnerships with schools, businesses and governments, hosted the event.

The One by One Recycling Program is the first sponsored contact lens recycling program from B+L and TerraCycle, and for each pound of waste that is recycled through the program, B+L will make a $1 donation to Optometry Giving Sight. Visit www.BauschRecycles.com to learn more.

In unrelated news, B+L announced several changes to its management team that the company says are designed to improve operational efficiencies and foster potential synergies to drive growth.

Joseph “Joe” Gordon, senior vice president and general manager, U.S. Consumer Healthcare, will expand his role to include the U.S. Vision Care business. Tracy Valorie, senior vice president and general manager, U.S. Pharmaceuticals, will also expand her role to include the U.S. Surgical business. Mr. Gordon and Ms. Valorie will be responsible for ensuring that their respective businesses achieve financial, marketing, and sales goals and objectives while increasing operating performance. They will also oversee business development, R&D, customer education, and training.

John Ferris, most recently the vice president of marketing for B+L’s OTC Vitamin portfolio, will serve as the vice president and general manager for U.S. Vision Care, reporting to Mr. Gordon. Mr. Ferris will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the business, driving all aspects of the U.S. contact lens portfolio. Also, Chuck Hess, vice president and general manager for U.S. Surgical, will oversee the daily operations of the business, reporting to Ms. Valorie.

COOPERVISION MODIFIES UPP

CooperVision, in reaction to the recent passing of the Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act in Utah, is removing three products from its UPP, effective immediately: MyDay, Clariti 1-day, and Biofinity XR toric brands as well as customer brands where applicable. However, it is maintaining its UPP for Biofinity Energys, which can be sold in Utah, but the UPP is prohibited there.

CooperVision says that its UPP was originally developed as a short-term program to provide incentives for eyecare professionals (ECPs) to invest the time and effort needed to evaluate new contact lens technologies and to educate patients about breakthrough lenses.

The company maintains that ECPs stand to benefit from building additional familiarity with Biofinity Energys’ technology, especially given its relatively short time in the market and still-limited distribution. CooperVision also believes that the UPP will encourage ECPs to continue learning about Biofinity Energys, investing time to educate themselves and wearers in an economically sensible manner.

SYNERGEYES LAUNCHES CORNEA AND CONTACT LENS RESIDENT JOB FINDER PROGRAM

SynergEyes has announced a Job Finder program for Contact Lens and Cornea Residents. The company says that this new program recognizes the importance of specialty contact lens training and education and helps these talented post-graduate residents find jobs by connecting them with eyecare professionals who prescribe specialty contact lenses.

Contact Lens and Cornea Residents may access a portal on synergeyes.com , where they can register for the Job Finder program. The residents provide information on what parts of the country they are seeking employment and when they are available. Eyecare professionals receive a list of residents along with their preferred state for employment. SynergEyes will connect the eyecare professionals in those states with the job-seeking residents.

If you are a resident looking for employment or an eyecare professional looking for a well-trained cornea and contact lens practitioner, visit http://info.synergeyes.com/resident-job-finder-program to sign up for the program.

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16 HYDRA-PEG PARTNERS ANNOUNCED

Tangible Science, LLC announced the first set of licensing partners and authorized lab partners offering Tangible Hydra-PEG, its contact lens coating designed to reduce discomfort. Tangible Hydra-PEG authorized lab partners in the United States include AccuLens, Advanced Vision Technologies, Art Optical, Boston Foundation for Sight, GP Specialists, Metro-Optics, TruForm Optics, and X-Cel Specialty Contacts. International lab partners include Blanchard Contact Lenses, Corneal Lens Corp NZ Ltd., Falco Lisen AG, Hetych, Northern Lenses, and Oftalmica Iovino Snc. Contamac is a global licensing partner and offers Tangible Hydra-PEG on its Optimum GP lenses. SynergEyes is also a global licensing partner and offers the coating on its Duette hybrid lens materials.

CUSTOM STABLE RECEIVES (510)K CLEARANCE

Valley Contax received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Custom Stable line of scleral contact lenses indicated for the therapeutic management of several ocular conditions. The clearance designated that eyecare practitioners may prescribe the lenses for frequent/planned replacement wear, assuming regular cleaning, disinfection, and scheduled replacement.

PARAGON VISION SCIENCES ANNOUNCES EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

Paragon Vision Sciences has entered into a series of educational partnership programs with several leading research institutions and organizations devoted to advancing eyecare practitioner education about myopia. Partnerships include:

The Myopia Control Clinic at University of California, Berkley (UCB): Paragon and the Myopia Control Clinic at UCB will work together to develop educational programs to provide current and future eyecare practitioners around the world with the most up-to-date research and treatment options for myopia.

Under the leadership of assistant professor of clinical optometry at UCB and clinic founder Maria Liu, OD, PhD, the first of these educational programs commenced on April 12 when The Myopia Control Clinic hosted an international delegation of eyecare practitioners from China.

The Vision Research Institute (VRI) at the Michigan College of Optometry: Paragon and the VRI at the Michigan College of Optometry will work together to develop educational tools focused on employing technology to simplify the effective and efficient diagnosis and fitting of corneal reshaping/orthokeratology and specialty contact lenses in general eyecare practices.

Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS): Paragon and the SLS will collaborate on the development of non-product-related educational programs at The Paragon Education and Training Academy located at the company’s headquarters in Gilbert, AZ.

International Academy of Orthokeratology: Paragon will collaborate with the International Academy of Orthokeratology on an educational series devoted to myopia management. Additionally, Paragon covered registration fees for optometry students attending Vision by Design 2017.

EYEPRINTPRO EXPANDS U.S. AND CANADIAN PROVIDER NETWORK

EyePrint Prosthetics LLC has announced that eyecare providers in 36 sites across the United States and Canada are now certified to fit the EyePrintPro. EyePrintPro is a prosthetic scleral cover shell that is designed through taking an impression of a patient’s cornea and then using a numerically controlled machining system to produce a lens that matches the impression.

EyePrintPro is indicated for keratoconus, irregular astigmatism, ocular surface disease, trauma, extreme eye deformity, pellucid marginal degeneration, chemical burns, post-surgical corneas, pinguecula, pterygium, or simply those who desire better vision and comfort.

A full list of the providers who are now certified to fit EyePrintPro is available at www.eyeprintpro.com/patient . EyePrintPro requires comprehensive training in the EyePrint Process. If you are interested in becoming an EyePrintPro provider or would like more information about practitioners in your area who fit EyePrintPro, visit www.eyeprintpro.com/contact-us .

COOPERVISION JOINS THE VISION COUNCIL

As part of its broad commitment to engaging and educating eyecare professionals on clinical and marketplace advances, CooperVision, Inc. has joined The Vision Council.

Jerry Warner, president, The Americas, CooperVision stated that the company believes it is essential for contact lenses to be represented in The Vision Council’s research, education, and advocacy efforts. As a contact lens company member, CooperVision looks forward to contributing its perspective and working alongside The Vision Council moving forward, according to the company.

One such opportunity for collaboration is on the issue of digital eye fatigue. For the past five years, The Vision Council has issued annual reports on the use of digital devices and the implications on visual health. CooperVision has actively worked over the last 18 months to raise awareness of digital eye fatigue as well through the launch of FightEyeFatigue.com , the facilitation of an educational radio media tour on World Sight Day, and appearances at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016 and 2017 to discuss the topic with mainstream technology media.

Additionally, in June 2016, CooperVision launched Biofinity Energys contact lenses with Digital Zone Optics lens design and Aquaform Technology to help with eye tiredness and dryness, two key symptoms commonly associated with digital eye fatigue.

GLOBAL CONTACT LENS FORUM FOCUSES ON R&D IN 2017 PROGRAM

The Global Contact Lens Forum (GCLF) at the 2017 International Vision Expo East was another great success. The event was held on March 30, 2017 in New York City. A large number of eyecare practitioners attended three sessions devoted to research and development (R&D) in eyecare practice.

Session one (“State of the Contact Lens Industry in 2017”) was devoted to the state of research and development in the contact lens industry. Representatives of the of the major contact lens manufacturers’ (Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision) research and development divisions, along with others from the specialty contact lens (SynergEyes) and the contact lens start-up worlds (Tangible Science), all shared their visions of where we are going in terms of the future of contact lens technologies. The lively discussion covered topics such as new materials, obstacles faced in mass production, and research challenges.

The second session (“Evidence Based Eye Care and Clinical Practice”) had some of the leading optometrists in the contact lens field who have devoted their careers to combining clinical research and clinical care. They shared their professional experiences with the attendees and gave them a better understanding of how clinical care and R&D can be combined into a highly successful career. The panelists offered different pearls for being successful in research, such as foster relationships with other practitioners and researchers, be passionate about what you are studying, find mentors to help you, and be mentors to those who are coming up after you.

The final session (“Contact Lens Practice Settings”) was a practitioner panel comprised of optometrists who have chosen different practice modalities such as a private practice, a corporate practice, an academic/hospital-based practice, and a co-management/refractive surgery-based practice. Each of the session’s panelists first shared with the attendees of the GCLF how they have succeeded in their individual career path. They then wrapped up their talks by presenting interesting cases that they have seen in their practices and detailing how they used contact lenses to help.

The next GCLF will take place at International Vision Expo West on Sept. 13 in Las Vegas. And, the organizers of GCLF 2018 are already putting on their thinking caps to come up with another unique and informative program.

FDA GRANTS THIRD EXTENSION OF UDI COMPLIANCE DATE TO SOFT CONTACT LENS LABELERS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a third extension for soft contact lens labelers that have yet to comply with the requirements of the Unique Device Identification (UDI) system because of the agency’s resource limitations.

The rule, originally published in Sept. 2013, created a UDI system and outlined label, data submission, and date formatting requirements for all medical devices commercially distributed throughout the United States. The rule was to be phased in over seven years, and the compliance date for all class III medical devices was Sept. 24, 2014; the compliance date for class II medical devices was Sept. 24, 2016. The FDA has previously granted two extensions to the soft contact lens industry.

Recently, the FDA said it will grant another extension of the requirements to provide a UDI on the device label and packages, format dates on the device label, and submit data to the Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID) until one year after the FDA develops and fully integrates the technical solution into the GUDID production system; provides any necessary updated technical specifications to affected labelers; and notifies industry that the extension will expire via emails to industry, communication via trade associations, and via the UDI website. Here are the products granted this third extension:

  • Class III – soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses (extended wear), product code LPM, classification regulation 21 CFR 886.5925(b)(2).
  • Class II – soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses (for color vision deficiency), product code NCZ, classification regulation 21 CFR 886.5925(b)(1); soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses (for reading discomfort), product code NIC, classification regulation 21 CFR 886.5925(b)(1); soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses (daily wear), product code LPL, classification regulation 21 CFR 886.5925(b)(1); and soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses (disposable), product code MVN, classification regulation 21 CFR 886.5925(b)(1).

INDUSTRY BRIEFS

  • Art Optical has added Menicon’s Rose K2 Soft lens to its custom silicone hydrogel product line and is now accepting orders. Rose K2 Soft is a daily wear, quarterly replacement lens for irregular corneas. Manufactured in Definitive (efrofilcon A) material by Contamac, Rose K2 Soft lens fitting begins with an eight-lens diagnostic set and follows a five-step fitting method common to the Rose K GP lens series.
  • Acuity Polymers, Inc. announced that Menicon Company, Ltd. has endorsed the use of Acuity GP materials for Rose K contact lenses for irregular corneas. Starting immediately, Rose K manufacturers in the United States will be able to offer the full range of Rose K branded GP lenses in Acuity Polymers materials. Acuity Polymers currently has two materials cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Acuity 100 (hexafocon A) and Acuity 18 (enflufocon A).
  • The International Keratoconus Academy of Eye Care Professionals (IKA) has announced its partnership and collaboration with the Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS). Both organizations heavily support public education and professional development of corneal disease detection, advancing technology, and surgical and non-surgical management. IKA and SLS consist of international experts, educators, and lecturers from private practice, academia, government, and research. They will cohesively work to further develop global best practices and clinical recommendations to provide eyecare providers the necessary tools and the most up-to-date resources to maximize patient success.
  • Allergan plc announced the availability of Restasis Multidose, an FDA-approved, preservative-free, prescription eye drop. Since its launch in 2003 until now, Restasis was accessible only in single-use vials. Restasis helps increase your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to chronic dry eye. Restasis Multidose is designed with a patented unidirectional valve and air filter technology. The new multidose bottle uses less plastic than a package of single-use vials and will be available for the same price. Allergan offers eligible Restasis Multidose patients a savings program called My Tears, My Rewards, which helps patients save on each prescription. For more information on the savings program and to determine eligibility, visit www.Restasis.com/savings or call 844-4MY-TEARS.
  • Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) will be collaborating on research and development of new contact lens technologies with Seed Co., Ltd. in Japan to deliver advanced vision correction for ageing people. Seed is a contact lens manufacturer in Japan with a 60-year history. It produces and delivers a wide range of contact lens products including GP, soft conventional, and disposable contact lenses. According to Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO of BHVI, the opportunity to collaborate with one of Asia’s leading contact lens companies with a fast-growing global presence would help take its technology global.
  • The American Optometric Foundation has officially changed its name to the American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF). The foundation’s board of directors voted to change the name for the purpose of better aligning and branding the Academy’s foundation. This year, the foundation celebrates 70 years. According to the foundation, its mission is to continue to develop and provide financial support for optometric research and education in vision and eye health to improve clinical patient care.
  • Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement for the exclusive worldwide rights to Klarity, an ophthalmic topical solution and gel technology for patients who have dry eye disease (DED). Klarity is designed to protect and rehabilitate the ocular surface following ophthalmic surgery, contact lens wear, or in patients who have moderate to severe DED, such as the development of epithelial and stromal corneal edema, the presence of increased oxidation agents and free radicals, cellular damage and death, and a significantly irritated eye. Klarity can be formulated to any viscosity, from a topical drop or gel to a dispersive viscosurgical device. Active ingredients include chondroitin sulfate, a cell membrane stabilizer, deturgescent agent, free radical scavenger, and lubricant.
  • Essilor of America and Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) announced the recipients of study loans for students of optometry at Mzuzu University in Malawi, Africa. The loans will cover full tuition and living costs for the five years of the bachelor of Vision Science. The recipients of the student loans are: Adson Mitochi, Mariam Aliya, Gibson Nkhwekwe, Kettie Lozario, Tambuzai Liyo, and Thandiwe Nyirenda. The Optometry Development program in Malawi is an initiative of the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Mzuzu University, Malawi College of Health Sciences and OGS.